God Loves Mommies
I haven't been at this whole parenting thing for very long. Eleven months hardly lends enough experience to talk about when there are those who have dedicated decades of their lives to raising the next generation. Yet these months have been the most priority changing months of my life. I've learned so much raising Jordan thus far, primarily, on how hard being a Mom is.
You know how you hear people say, "Nobody ever tells you how difficult it really is"? I didn't agree with that. I felt like I'd been told plenty that babies are loud, messy, demanding, and that there will be moments when you just want to collapse in an exhausted heap...well, something like that. I'd been told that, but those words could in no way prepare me for the actual feelings of fatigue, frustration, sadness, and inexplicable love for the little person I'd been charged with. It doesn't matter what people tell you about having kids or marriage or life in the real world. Those words cannot automatically pass on the experiences.
It was during a time of these "real life experiences" with Jordan just recently that I was really struggling. He wasn't (still isn't) sleeping at night and I was (still am) so tired. But, in the middle of the night, as I groggily heaved myself out of bed to the sound of my screaming son for the third time, it wasn't Jordan that I resented. See, I'd had this dream growing up. Some kids dream of being a doctor or fireman, but the only thing I ever wanted to be was a Mom. That's it. I didn't want a career that would lead me to fame and fortune or any opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. I just wanted to raise a family. I went ahead and got an associate's degree as a Physical Therapist's Assistant for practicality's sake, though, at no point have I ever felt like that was "it". Now, I am extremely blessed to have a job, and by no means am I complaining about it. It's been truly fun and the people I work with are amazing, but, as I said, this isn't "it". I've still been waiting for that day when my dream of being a stay at home Mom is fulfilled, and in the middle of the night when I'm getting up to get Jordan and it's only the most primal thoughts that are running through my head, it's work that I resent. I resent that I have to get up early and be expected to
survive function perform to the best of my abilities to provide the kids that I work with the best treatment they deserve on 4 hours of interrupted sleep. Can I get an amen? I know I'm not the only one that's been here.
So, the question is, why don't I quit? There are a number of reasons, and I won't get into them now, but basically it boils down to God. God doesn't want me to quit yet. I've had a lot of conversations with Him about it...a lot, and sometimes they are more one sided than I'd like to confess. They'd go something like, "God, isn't it a good thing to want to stay home with my baby? I thought you would swing the doors wide open for this to happen. God, hello? Why aren't the doors swinging. This is what I want and I want it now!"
Well, during an especially emotional "conversation" between God and I, I realized I never considered the possibility that nothing was happening because I was actually where God wanted me to be. "Ok, God, so maybe you want me to stay at work. That's crazy! You see how tired I am".
"I'll be your strength"
"But, you know how much I want to be with Jordan"
"I'll take care of him"
"But, God, I'm going to be so mad at you if you make me do this."
"Child" (Picture God giving me that look that Mufasa gives Simba during their little heart to heart about Simba ruling Africa). "Alright" I gave up. If you've ever surrendered something to God, you'll know how reckless and wonderful it feels. I love to control every aspect of my life, so it's hard to give it over to God, but man is it worth it!
Now, I'm not going to be unrealistic with you. The conversation didn't stop there. He reminded me of a recent lesson from my Bible study group that He will "empower me to do what He asks of me". For this instance that will come in the form of strength and energy to get through the day, help in not resenting Him, grace to do the best that I can with out complaining, and reminders to be thankful for what we are so very blessed with. I couldn't just change my emotions that instant of releasing control, but God and I are working on it.
I've realized more and more every day that God has given us as Moms a big job to commit our lives and energy to (or several big jobs), but that's not because He likes to see us run ourselves into the ground. God loves mommies, and He promises to empower us to accomplish and exceed at the tasks given to us by His grace if we will surrender to Him. So, hang in there, mommies out there that are not quite living the dream they'd expected life to be. God's on your side (or He can be), and that is awesome.